Who Are the Dirty Thirty?

Between now and June 18, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a proposal to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency's recently-issued safeguards to protect kids and their families from the mercury and dozens of other toxins spewed by U.S. power plants.

The attack on our health is being led by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.), who claims to have 29 other supporters in the Senate - enough to force a full vote on the issue according to the obscure rules of the Congressional Review Act.

But the senator refuses to name his "Dirty Thirty." 

We think that if any elected official is going to help revoke a clean air health standard that that will protect kids' developing brains and save tens of thousands of lives, their constituents should know who they are. 

Which is why our Clean Air Director John Walke, wrote Inhofe on Wednesday requesting the names of the Dirty Thirty the Senator says are committed to using the Congressional Review Act to gut EPA’s first-ever mercury and air toxics standards for power plants. 

So far, we haven't heard back.

But Politico's Morning Energy did report that:

We agree that senators should be on record — whether it is standing with the far left Obama EPA or those who believe we should ‘hold the line’ and rein in the EPA, as one Senate Democrat recently claimed she wants to do,” spokesman Matt Dempsey told ME.

He did not, however, release the names of the co-sponsors. (emphasis added.)

Later in the day, E&E’s Greenwire (subscription only) reported that

Inhofe's office has not yet released the names of his supporters on the resolution, but spokesman Matt Dempsey said his boss might do so before the resolution is brought to the floor. He added that transparency is as important to Inhofe as it is to the environmentalists…

That’s good to hear. Since Senator Inhofe's staff says it supports transparency, we're going to focus on asking them to disclose the Dirty Thirty rather than blanket the hill with requests for Senators to ‘fess up.

Stay tuned for more on the "Dirty Thirty." After all, if those Senators believe in doing the bidding of big polluters, at least they should have the guts to stand up and say so.

About the Authors

Pete Altman

Director of Federal Campaigns

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